Wandering inspector comments and footnotes

Since I’ve started using scrivener on two machines, my old scratchy whitebook and a newer one, I find comments seem to have moved places within the text, and do not make much sense sometimes. I have the feeling that while wandering between OSX Snow Leopard and Lion they somehow get lost on their way… Has anybody else encountered this problem? It really confuses me sometimes, because I have to recheck them all and move them back to where they belong… weird! :question:

My guess is that you are using Dropbox or some other sync software to sync the project between machines - at some point, there has been a synchronisation conflict that has changed things “behind Scrivener’s back”. Comments and footnotes are stored in separate files to the text, and Scrivener knows where to apply them by saving the character (letter) index and length (i.e. “This comment starts at the 100th letter and lasts for ten letters”). If there is a synchronisation conflict, what can happen is that the text file changes somehow but the comments file doesn’t know about it, so the words are now in different places. This would usually happen if you have accidentally opened the project on two machines at once at the same time, which should always be avoided.

To confirm that this is what has happened, ctrl-click on the .scriv project in the Finder, select “Show Package Contents” to see inside the .scriv project, and then drill down into the /Files/Docs folder. My guess is that you will see a number of RTF files there that have been renamed. All files there should be of the format [number].[ext], [number].links, [number]_notes.rtf and [number]_synopsis.txt (e.g. 4.rtf, 4.links, 52_notes.rtf, 54_synopsis.txt and so on). If you see files with different names - for instance with “such-and-such’s computer” or a date in the file name - then you know that a sync conflict has occurred and silently fudged up your project behind Scrivener’s back.

All the best,

Dear Keith,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I checked the package contents, as you said. I found out, that the problem concerns “207.rtf.” The comments and footnotes are apparently in the 207.links file., I had a look at these and found the location markers, as you described them. However, going from your explanation, these files look absolutely “clean”. No weird name extensions or dates.
You were right in that I am using dropbox for backup (sorry, I should have mentioned this in the first place). and I think that I once had the project open on two machines, but I worked from a copy (as recommended) straight away and have not touched the old version since. Within the package, there are however, some “conflicted copies”, but they date back from April last year and are entirely different chapters.
Yesterday, I spent a lot of time with “207.rtf” (an entire chapter) and moved footnotes and comments back to their place. Most of them seem to have been moved “down” one footnote, that is footnote “3” is now ehre footnote 4 used to be etc.

That’s particularly strange - it usually happens that they get offset by a few characters. Also, if you worked from a copy, then no conflict would have occurred, so that is strange too. Dropbox is still the most likely explanation here, but it’s strange that there are no renamed files. I’m afraid I’m not sure what to suggest other than to keep an eye on it and let me know if it happens again, as I can’t find anything in Scrivener’s code that would cause the .links and .rtf files to go out of sync (unless one refused to save for some reason, but there there should be a warning).

Thanks and all the best,

Just to hop in here for a second, you’re not working on the project cross-platform, are you? If you open the project with inspector comments on Windows and make changes to the document there, the link placement could be off when you return to the Mac. If you’re needing to go between Mac and PC, it’s best to switch to inline comments for now (Format > Convert > Inspector Comments to Inline Annotations when on the Mac).

Dear MM

Thanks for the hint. No, I was just switching between Snow Leopard and Lion, but staying happily within MacOSX walls. Anyway, I think it must have been related to accidentally having the project open on two machines, maybe I messed something up there. It has not re-occurred, but I’ll keep an eye on it. Thanks for your support, guys!